Engaged Customers Will 'Click' With Your Email MarketingEmail Marketing
In a recent two-part blog post, Mark Brownlow at Email Marketing Reports gave marketers some useful hints and tips for indentifying the most engaged subscribers on their email marketing lists. He settled on 'most clicks' as the ideal measurement of engagement, and with that in mind, we thought we might contribute with some thoughts on clickable links, and what that means for your sales conversions.
It's not enough to send email newsletters as an un-interactive block of text to engage subscribers; there has to be a call to action for subscribers to respond to. So it's more useful to include links to blog posts and press releases or a version of the newsletter on your web site with a brief extract to pique interest. This is for two reasons: firstly, it's possible to measure this kind of behaviour (did the subscriber bother to click or not?), which lends itself better to segmentation, and secondly, it drives subscribers to your web site where the likelihood of them making a purchase or enquiry is significantly higher.
Measuring the kinds of links a subscriber clicks on is also better for determining a subscriber's level of interest. For instance, excepting the usual links:
- In promotional emails, an informative 'How Do You Take Care of My Order' link. This is more about your company culture and how you look after customers. It's designed to help build trust, and by clicking on this link the subscriber is demonstrating a clear curiosity about buying from you. Mark them as 'engaged'.
- In newsletters, with the rise of social media, 'Meet the Team' links have added currency as they put a human face to your emails. As the old adage goes, 'people buy from people, not from businesses'. An entertaining, warm and human persona can make the difference between 'passive consumption' and 'engagement' in subscribers so invite them to find out more. Those that do are obviously intrigued.
- Links to social media accounts: Twitter, Facebook and MySpace are used by many individuals as a social space. If a subscriber clicks on one of these links, they're considering inviting you into their personal world. That's a great mark of trust and interest, which could soon translate into sales and advocacy if you nurture the relationship.
You'll notice that the examples above have very little to do with direct selling. They're more about presenting your business' world view and environment for public viewing. Although, the percentage of subscribers prepared to spend extra time exploring your company will be tiny in proportion to the rest of the list - maybe less than 5% - the value these subscribers will ultimately bring as customers or brand advocates could easily outweigh the remaining 95%.
Identifying the percentage of subscribers who are 'fully' or 'almost fully engaged' can be a tricky process thought. It's safe to assume that someone who has clicked a link in over half of your emails, has clicked on a number of non-selling links and has been on the list for a long period of time (over a year) is more engaged than the average subscriber. The novelty of receiving your emails has worn off but they're still showing consistent interest. This is someone you can either target for promotions / selling or to spread the word about your campaigns.
Try to start measuring and segmenting your list based on these criteria; delve deeper into the mindsets of your subscribers and create a list of those most engaged with your campaigns. Target these with special promotions and content until they become loyal customers; then this 5% will be worth its weight in gold - metaphorically speaking!
To read Mark Brownlow's two part blog post on identifying engaged subscribers, click here for part one, Identifying Engaged Subscribers: Repeat Clicks and here for part two, Identifying Engaged Subscribers: Unique Opens, Clicks, Lateral Thinking.
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